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My fieldwork is based in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the northeast of Colombia. These pictures were taken with a film camera in December and January 2023-2024, as I spent time with indigenous Wiwa friends. I accompanied them for a few weeks as they went to visit their family for new year celebrations in their home village, on the South side of the Sierra, near Valledupar.


‘Picking Coca Leaves’

My friend Christina, to the left, picking coca leaves in Sewingui. They will then be dried and prepared for men, who exchange them as a form of greeting each other, and chew them daily.


‘Collective Spiritual Work’

From right to left: my friend Luntana, his wife Christina, his great uncle the mamo, his father Jose Ignacio. They are doing spiritual work together at a sacred site in the paramo of the Sierra, around 3000m of altitude. The mamo is wearing what is traditionally a Kogi hat, yet he is Wiwa.


‘Weaving a Mochila Strap’

These are the hands of my friends’ mother, Cecilia. She is finishing the weaving of a mochila strap, which she is making for me. Making an entire mochila takes approximately one month. Fibers are extracted from a plant (bi in Damana), dried, and then spun by hand (by rolling the fibers on the thigh) to make threads which can be dyed based on the chosen colour pattern. They are then used to make the mochila, with a needle.


This interview with Juliette explains more about her fieldwork and the importance of photography to her research.